"England's new record" - Every countries heaviest Six Nations defeat - Page 3 of 6 - Ruck

“England’s new record” – Every countries heaviest Six Nations defeat

IRELAND 39 points – France 44-5 Ireland (2002)

This flourishing French victory saw Les Bleus win their third Six Nations Grand Slam in six seasons, and marked their intentions for the 2003 Rugby World Cup campaign. France took the lead after just three minutes, as Serge Betsen’s try established an early advantage, which France only continued to build through full back Nicolas Brusque.

One-way traffic in the first half, saw the two sides depart with an emphatic 28-5 score-line lighting up the Parc de Princes. Ireland responded in the second half, and limited France’s attack with resilient defence. Ireland reduced the growing points tally to just conceding penalties, as Gerald Merceron opted for the boot with no clear route through to score tries, in the match’s third quarter.

Yet just before the hour mark, the floodgates re-opened. Ireland were washed away with a second try for Betsen, and Brusque also securing his brace. After over a decade, this still stands as Ireland’s worst defeat in the Six Nations Championships.